October 29, 2021

FBI Detroit Encourages the Public to Report Hate Crimes and Other Civil Rights Violations

The FBI’s Detroit Division is joining a nationwide initiative to build public awareness of hate crimes and to encourage reporting to law enforcement.

Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

“The FBI wants to reassure the public that we will pursue individuals who commit violent, hateful acts against any member of our community,” said FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters. “Combating hate crimes and protecting every individual’s civil rights is one of the top priorities of the FBI and we will actively work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these crimes and achieve justice for victims.”

The FBI is the lead investigative agency for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes and works closely with local, state, tribal, and other federal law enforcement partners in many of these cases, even when federal charges are not pursued. The FBI also works proactively to detect and prevent incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with community groups.

There is wide speculation that many hate crimes go unreported to law enforcement and from the FBI’s perspective, even one hate crime is one too many. In August, the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2020, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest compilation about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. Over 15,000 law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports last year and there were 7,759 bias-motivated incidents reported nationwide. In Michigan, the 2020 FBI hate crimes statistics were based on data received from 628 of 648 law enforcement agencies in the state that year and there were 377 reported hate crimes.

The latest Hate Crime Statistics reports are available through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr.

In addition to hate crimes, as part of its civil rights program, the FBI investigates color of law and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations. Color of law violations include acts carried out by government officials, including law enforcement officers, operating within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority. These acts include excessive force, sexual assault, and deprivation of medical care.

The FBI protects all victims of crimes, regardless of their country of national origin or immigration status. If you believe you are the victim of or witness to a hate crime or other civil rights violation, you are encouraged to report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting tips online at tips.fbi.gov.

For more information on the FBI’s civil rights program, please visit https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights.